Friend-Les

…to the least popular boy!” There! I said it, OK? Among the joys of living in a town which no one ever leaves is always having a “friend” nearby to evoke unpleasant adolescent memories. By the way, here’s how Westview’s High’s “most popular girl” treated Les back in the day:

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26 Comments

Filed under Son of Stuck Funky

26 responses to “Friend-Les

  1. SpacemanSpiff85

    Seriously, you want Les in charge? You just know he’s going to make it Lisa themed, and force everyone to give a speech about how Lisa affected their lives, and then interrupt them by screaming corrections of their grammar, and then tell them none of them appreciated Lisa enough. And of course it’ll be in Montoni’s.

  2. Epicus Doomus

    Ugh, is he really doing more “Les was a loser in school” gags? I mean talk about played out. Anyhow, I’m assuming that tomorrow’s strip features a furious and humiliated Les scampering off to his porch swing where he’ll await everyone’s sincerest apologies. What a waste of time.

  3. Rusty

    It’s funny how Bull got ret-conned into being Les’s pretend bully, yet Cindy is always portrayed as being a bitch on wheels in high school.

  4. In the nostalgia strip, I completely sympathize with Cindy, yet I can also feel Les’ sadness.

    In other words, Tom Batiuk used to be able to do this kind of thing so it actually worked.

  5. Mason Jarr

    It’s such a stupid question. What kind of fortyninetyish people are worried about this kind of crap? Your friend is taking a job in LA, and you are seriously (according to their facial expressions) questioning who will take over the high school reunion nonsense? I feel like I am in the last century.

  6. As if Les needed any more convincing that everything in the universe revolves around him…

  7. John

    Les: *superior smirk* “Well, as flattered as I am to be called by you, Madame Chairwoman, I have to remind you that as a high school teacher of literature, a full time Wise Author of Westview, Hollywood Auteur, and part-time dough slinger here at Montoni’s, I really have too many duties and obligations to take on the burden of Chairman-ing the Looming Coming Reunion.”

    Cindy: “….”

    Funky: “…..”

    Les: “Now if you’ll excuse me, you’ll notice this pizza box I’m holding in such a bizarre, unnatural manner is filled with a piping hot pie, which I intend to split with my wife. Er, my wife Cayla, not Lisa, My Wife Who Died of Cancer.”

    Cindy: “…..”

    Funky: “…..”

    Les: “Um, like I said, I’m BUSY-”

    Cindy: *SNRK*

    Funky: “…heh…”

    Cindy: *MMMPH*

    Funky: “HA! A-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo-HA!”

    Cindy: “BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!”

    Les: *frowns* “You guys. Really, I have too much hard wor-”

    Cindy & Funky: *rolling on the floor, tears streaming, helpless with mirth* “HAAA-HAAA-HAAW-HAWW-HAWWW!”

    Les: “Hmmmph! I guess there WERE some children left behind!”

    *Les waddles off*

    Funky: “…..*pant-pant* But, seriously, who were you really going to pick.”

    Cindy: “Nobody. I just wanted to wind that sad little tin puppet up.”

    Funky: “….”

    Cindy: “….”

    Funky & Cindy: “BWA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HAW!!!”

  8. JerrytheMacGuy

    Ugh. Both the old strip and today’s only reaffirms that high school is overrated.

    Didn’t these losers have lives beyond Westview High?

  9. SpacemanSpiff85

    @BeckoningChasm:
    That’s the thing that infuriates me most about Batiuk. I went back and read the archives on Comics Kingdom, and up until Lisa died, I actually liked it. Yeah, it was way too melodramatic, but things actually happened, and characters grew and changed, and seemed like real people, rather than how it is lately, when everyone is either a stand-in for Batiuk or someone he wants to take potshots at.

  10. This is the downside of the whole “Riverdale, where no one ever actually leaves town for long” ethos: you’re not allowed to forget the shit that happened back in the weird-ass artificial environment called a North American high school nor are you really allowed to live down being an outcast. Thus, sadly, the non-stop demolition of Cindy for being a bog-standard queen bee with an inflated idea of her place in the world long after everyone normal would stop feeling the sting.

  11. A HREF

    @BeckoningChasm
    @SpacemanSpiff85
    @Paul Jones
    You guys nailed what I find so irritating about FW–if TB wants to write about high school stuff, why not develop the high school characters that now inhabit the strip (in a purely theoretical manner when was the last high school arc in this strip)? What happened to Summer? Corey? Owne? Raina? That stupid girl with the hat who is Crazy’s daughter? Chien?

  12. Nathan Obral

    Speaking of high school, I’m having senioritis trying to think of a comment for this garbage.

  13. captaincab

    Along with spending large amounts of time with Funky post-marriage, I’ve never gotten this whole forced, “Aw shucks, you sure were a rotten yet popular ice queen but oh well, we love ya and think you’re swell now for some reason” routine between Cindy, Les and Harry. Was there ever a point somewhere in Act II where Cindy actually had a positive character transformation within the strip let alone apologized to some of the people she mistreated so badly in the past? The whole glossing over of past events that Batiuk does is really irritating, like the reader is just supposed to understand these characters all care about each other and admire each other for some reason.

  14. I for one am willing to cut TB some slack on this. Clearly all of these people were defined by their high school experience. None of them had any personal growth beyond their 18th birthday. Living in the past and complaining about the future is what everyone in Westview does best. They SHOULD have annual meetings to reaffirm how life screwed them over and punish anyone who dared to succeed or escape from their little urban prison.

  15. billytheskink

    I like how Funky is Alfred-Hitchcock-silhouetting both today’s strip and the flashback strip. It’s a more effective homage in today’s strip.

  16. Saturnino

    “By the way, here’s how Westview’s High’s “most popular girl” treated Les back in the day:”

    And apparently, the first time she got her head bloodied was when she got dumped in NYC.

    And she really learned from that………………………….

    I guess she never had the mortality epiphany, either.

    But she’ll dump everything to become a Coney Island Whitefish on Mason Jarr’s wall.

  17. $$$WESTVIEW ONCOLOGIST$$$

    Why the hell do you need a Reunion? Half of you guys meet each other everyday…at Montoni’s none the less!

  18. Nathan Obral

    @Bill:

    I for one am willing to cut TB some slack on this. Clearly all of these people were defined by their high school experience. None of them had any personal growth beyond their 18th birthday. Living in the past and complaining about the future is what everyone in Westview does best.

    @A HREF:

    You guys nailed what I find so irritating about FW–if TB wants to write about high school stuff, why not develop the high school characters that now inhabit the strip (in a purely theoretical manner when was the last high school arc in this strip)? What happened to Summer? Corey? Owne? Raina? That stupid girl with the hat who is Crazy’s daughter? Chien?

    These two different takes yield the same result.

    Batom® painted himself into a corner with the Act II melodrama, and his execution of St. Lisa the Cancer Chew Toy took the strip down the proverbial rabbit hole. He created a set of younger characters, but clearly is disinterested in all of them… even Summer. Owen, Cody and Alex are poorly written and totally unlikable. The cast has now contracted to a bare minimum, and most of the storylines feature his obsession with fake comic book movies and fake comic books… and the sight-unseen football team and marching band gags. And then there are the weeks of pathetic Luigi’s napkin gags.

    Batom® can’t even bear to deliver a crippling injury or fatality to any of the current cast members, not since St. Fred the Fair Good’s stroke three years ago. Think about the aborted story arc with Funky on a plane for no reason, and receiving a cryptic text message from a “Dr. C Hill” that, in typical Batomian fashion, is never explained. Did he really want to have Funky endure a multi-week cancer scare at the same time Corey came home? As if we’ll ever find out…

    Obviously Batom® wants to do the old gags with the original cast, but he can’t bear to do a reboot. Much like he continues to trumpet the comic strip collection of Lisa’s death like a “greatest hits” set, he is completely infatuated with the past, often paying visits to his alma mater (Midview High School) while claiming to “search for material” for FW.

    Batom® is not only a lazy, brittle man, he’s also hopelessly trapped in the past.

  19. Epicus Doomus

    Funky’s stunned reaction re: Les organizing the coming reunion implies that everyone in their class still recalls Les as being a hapless hopeless loser even though his classmates had to have encountered him at the tenth reunion, the twentieth and so on. Surely some of those people must know that he’s now a teacher at WHS as well as a (ugh) “famous author” and there’s NO WAY they don’t know all about the whole Lisa thing either, given how he never shuts up about it. So once again BanTom is pretending that entire huge swaths of the strip never happened, just so he can recycle some ancient gags.

    And anyway, early Act I wasn’t all about Les being a gigantic weenie who wet himself and failed at everything. Yes, he was a geek, he was bullied, the “hot girls” rejected him, that’s all fact. However, he was depicted as more of an “every-dork” who was merely navigating the many hazards and pitfalls he encountered at school, not as a complete simpering tool. Sometimes I think TB has retconned the past so much that he actually believes that’s how it really was.

  20. Jimmy

    A reboot with gag a day strips would be much more preferable.

    Funky: *Sigh* Boozing was much more fun than running on a treadmill.

    Crazy Harry: *Sigh* Stealing mail was much more fun than stacking comic books.

    Les: *Sigh* Batiuk is I am such a misunderstood genius.

    Never mind. Maybe this is preferable.

  21. @Nathan Orbal: The problem is that it would be contemptuously easy to hit the reset button on history: just have sophomore Les wake up, go about his day and introduce his dad to this neat kid he met named Funky Winkerbean. Once Moore senior beholds Funky’s American flag clothing and asks if he’s supposed to greet him or salute him and we can go back to the high school life that Batiuk is mindlessly fixated on.

  22. captaincab

    Add me to the list of people who have wondered why TB doesn’t bother developing the current high school students in his ongoing strip which touts itself as chronicling “issues affecting young adults.” In most any other form of serial entertainment featuring newer and progressive generations of characters, Funky and the adults would be mainly be supporting characters at this point and there to supplement core storylines featuring the kids and newer characters. It’s been several years since I read it, but even Gasoline Ally features a healthy amount of stories with its 3rd and 4th gen characters, many of the stories don’t feature Walt at all (that guy has got to be a Vulcan or something at this point, old enough to be Spock’s dad).

  23. @captaincab: Possibly because Batiuk still thinks that Funky and Les ARE young adults. There was, after all, a recent strip in which Funkman revealed that he doesn’t think of himself as a guy in his early fifties who really let himself go but as the goofy kid he started out as.

  24. @Epicus Doomus: Batiuk thinks that he’s improved Les’s past by making him into a huge, helpless, whining victim living in Hell instead of an everynerd in an wacky high school.

  25. Epicus Doomus

    I mean he WAS a nerd and he WAS oftentimes hapless, but not to the insane degree the retcon jobs might have you believe. Just like how Cindy was a nasty vicious piece of work, not at all the lovable “that’s our girl” like how she’s portrayed now. After Lisa he gave everyone “personalities” beyond the one-dimensional Act I ones, but they’re all the SAME personality, more or less.